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January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Savory Pastries; Sweets & Desserts; Condiments

blue room Dec 31, 2012 11:20 PM

Please post here for these recipes:

Savory Pastries 240 - 255
Sweets & Desserts 256 - 295
Condiments 296 - 309

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  1. s
    Siegal Jun 28, 2013 07:54 AM

    I don't have the book with me so I hope I get the name right. I made the ka'ak. The bracelets savory pastries. I have been dying to make these for sometime (even before this book came out as I love Israeli food). They were easy to make and very rich but there was just too much of the seeds I think and a bit overwhelming. I will try again and maybe cut the amount done or try a tamer recipe I saw in aromas of Aleppo

    1. geekmom Mar 23, 2013 03:42 PM

      Ghraybeh - p 260

      Cream ghee and icing sugar, stir in flour, a bit of salt & some orange and rose blossom waters, then wrap the dough in cling film & refrigerate for at least one hour. Once cool, make 15g balls of dough, into which you press a whole, unsalted shelled pistachio. (Other variations online use blanched almonds, and I think they would work equally well).

      These were quite easy to make, and the flavour profile of the cookie is very simple, especially compared to the spice cookies (p 278), but the ghraybeh are tasty and more-ish in their own right.

      Ghraybeh apparently means "swoon" in Arabic. A good description of this small melt-in-your-mouth treat, reminiscent of whipped shortbread but quite lovely in its own decidedly Middle Eastern way with the addition of orange and rose blossom waters. The recipe suggests you can reduce the amounts of the orange and rose blossom waters if you prefer the flavour not be too strong; since I'm sharing these with friends who might not be used to these flavours, I used 1 tsp of each and the taste was definitely there but not dominant, a nice subtle background note.

      1. L.Nightshade Feb 11, 2013 05:54 PM

        Pilpelchuma, page 302.

        This stuff is really something! An ancho chile is soaked in hot water, then seeded and cut into large chunks. Significant amounts of cayenne, paprika, cumin, and ground caraway seeds are toasted in a frying pan. Then everything is ground in a food processor with 20 cloves of garlic, some salt, and a little oil.

        Hot! Hot! Hot! But very complex and compelling. A little goes a long way. I used it in the spicy carrot salad, but I'm eager to use it as a rub for meat.

        1. Caitlin McGrath Feb 3, 2013 09:14 PM

          Spice cookies, p. 278 (US ed.)

          This recipe is reprinted here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          You can see the recipe at the Epicurious link, but it has lots of flavor elements: a little bit of cocoa powder; equal measures (just 1/2 tsp. each) cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger; lots of grated bittersweet chocolate, and currants soaked in a bit of brandy. These are large, dense, and cakey treats that were delicious. They tasted foremost of chocolate, with subtle spice, and the brandied currants were very nice.

          Recipe calls for half an egg, but I needed to add the other half in order to incorporate all the dry ingredients (I did weigh the flour). They turned out a little bit drier than I
          expected, but I expect I baked a minute or two too long. I made only half the glaze and found it quite sufficient. The difference in color between mine and the photo in the book is a mystery. Or rather, it's mystery how the book's are so light; once I began to incorporate the dry ingredients (which include the chocolate), the dough began looking like chocolate!

           
          5 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            geekmom Feb 5, 2013 07:01 AM

            Spice cookies - p 278 (UK ed.)

            I saw Caitlin's review and realized that I never noticed these cookies have chocolate in them. They suddenly shot to the top of my priority list. Thank you very much for bringing them to my attention, Caitlin!

            These are substantial cookies packed with flavour. They're a bit of work, and you only get 16 cookies, but they're quite wonderful and will be perfect with a midmorning cup of tea or coffee. Like the description in the book suggests, they are reminiscent of pfeffernusse with the spices and the texture of the cookie which is quite soft and cakey.

            I only needed half an egg for my dough and they held together well; the mixture needed to be pressed and kneaded a bit to encourage it to hold together but making the balls of dough was easy (and I learned that you really do need to ensure each ball is 50g like it says in the recipe, otherwise, your last cookie will be much smaller). My glaze, however, was far too runny and next time I will try only using 2.5 tbsp of lemon juice and see how that works out. The glaze ran right off the cookies and didn't stay white on top like the ones in the picture because the coating was too thin. Oddly, although I was measuring by tablespoonsful as described in the recipe, I ran out before I got to the last couple of cookies. I had to scrape some of the glaze off the tray to put on them.

            One last note - this recipe calls for 150g of dark chocolate "coarsely grated". Since I was grating my fingers along with the chocolate, and it was taking forever, I thought I'd use the grater disc attachment on my food processor to grate the chocolate. This turns out to have been a bad idea, so you all can learn from my mistake: chocolate grated in the FP seems to become statically charged, so when you're using your spatula to try and scrape it out, it flies all around the room and NOT into the mixing bowl you are trying to put it into. Also, if you should happen to have a few chunks of chocolate that get stuck between the lid of your FP and your grater disc, do NOT assume that it will be just like a similar chunk of carrot and grate eventually. What will happen is the friction of the spinning disc will very quickly melt the chocolate all over the inside of your FP lid, so later you will find you have to spend fifteen minutes cleaning chocolate out of every single nook and cranny of your FP lid.

            Next time, I'll use the bowl blade in careful pulses. :-)

            1. re: geekmom
              Allegra_K Feb 5, 2013 07:25 AM

              Well, thanks for taking one for the team and bestowing us with your food processor wisdom, geekmom! I will make sure never to attempt what you did. Meanwhile, I think I need to make some cookies.....

              1. re: Allegra_K
                geekmom Feb 5, 2013 07:30 AM

                Always happy to help ;-) Let us know how your cookies turn out!

              2. re: geekmom
                Caitlin McGrath Feb 5, 2013 10:56 AM

                You know what, I also grated the chocolate using the coarse grater disc on my food processor, but I did not have any flying-chocolate problems. I did, however, get a bit of that melted-chocolate action on the lid from friction. I just left it to soak for a bit, then chucked it in the dishwasher. In any event, there was no way I was going to grate all that chocolate by hand, for just the reasons you stated!

                1. re: geekmom
                  geekmom Feb 18, 2013 09:17 AM

                  I have now made these cookies three times (my spoiled family saw me getting out the currants and brandy and asked "THOSE cookies again?") and I thought I'd follow up about the food processor mishap. The book calls for the chocolate to be "coarsely grated". The first time I had a mishap with the grater disc, as detailed above; the second time, I used the bowl blade to coarsely chop the chocolate. The third time I decided there was no point in messing up my FP with chocolate so I just coarsely chopped it with a knife on a board. I did end up with a few very large chunks but what's wrong with that? I would recommend this method, for others who are disinclined to grate by hand.

              3. abby d Jan 29, 2013 04:41 AM

                Muhallabieh

                This is a milk pudding - milk is heated with sugar and then cornflour is added to make a custard.

                The flavour comes from a flavoured suggar syrup - the original recipe is flavoured with bay and vanilla but they encourage experimenting and I've done other versions using rosewater, orange water or spices (star anise, cloves and cinnamon). Decorate with pistachios, rosepetals and coconut (or other ingredients depending on your syrup flavours).

                I've made this several times all flavour variations have worked well and I think it's a great pudding option as long as you like milk - it's not too heavy, cheap, easy to make and very adaptable.

                 
                1 Reply
                1. re: abby d
                  blue room Jan 31, 2013 04:20 PM

                  I did not read the introduction and description of this dessert until I saw your post here! (So interesting, this interesting book.)

                  Pistachios and rose petals together are so pretty, Arabian Nights style. Thanks for this one!

                2. jpr54_1 Jan 27, 2013 10:01 AM

                  Page 303
                  Quick Pickled Lemons
                  These are on the counter.
                  In place of regular lemons I am using meyer lemons.
                  They r for sale at Whole Foods - 8 for 3.99 in mesh bag.
                  It is a product of California. I haven't seen ones from my home State of Florida.

                  tomorrow I am going to prepare
                  Moroccan-Style Prreserved Lemons
                  page 156
                  The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich
                  this is my favorite goto pickling book.

                  1. bunnylicious Jan 13, 2013 06:13 PM

                    Tahini cookies (don't have the page number, book is downstairs!)

                    Cream butter and sugar, add tahini, cream, and vanilla, then add flour. Knead until smooth. Form into balls, press down with a fork, decorate with a pistachio and a sprinkling of cinnamon and bake.

                    Pretty much followed the recipe, except that I used regular sugar and I put some cinnamon in with the flour instead of sprinkling on top. The dough came together really easily and didn't need much kneading. The cookies looked like a middle eastern version of a peanut butter cookie :)

                    I baked for 15 minutes, which is the minimum recommended time. Somehow, the bottoms came out really burnt! My oven doesn't normally run hot, so I'm not sure what happened. In any case, it was very easy to scrape off the burnt bits, so the cookies were saved. I enjoyed the crumbly texture and subtle flavour. I can see these pairing well with tea or coffee. My hubby and guests really loved these, probably more than I did even.Both guests ended up leaving with some, and the whole batch was finished within about 2 hours :)

                    I don't think this is an earth-shattering cookie, but it is lovely for company, not too sweet, and just different enough to keep things interesting.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bunnylicious
                      s
                      Siegal Jun 28, 2013 07:58 AM

                      I loved the tehina cookies. They are a great cookie if your one of those who like less sweet desserts. So of course, me and my mother loved them and my father and husband thought they were "eh"

                    2. m
                      MelMM Jan 13, 2013 11:58 AM

                      Tahini Sauce - iBook ed.

                      I feel sure someone has already made this, but I don't see a review anywhere. Anyway, this is a very standard tahini sauce, not much different from what I seen elsewhere or made before. Just whisk up some tahini, garlic, lemon juice, water and salt. I made this to go with falafel, but the leftovers will be useful over salad, or a number of other applications.

                      1. m
                        MelMM Jan 13, 2013 11:56 AM

                        Zhoug - iBook ed.

                        I made this to serve along with the falafel. The intro to this recipe says to keep the texture coarse, "as if it were made traditionally with grinding stones." The recipe calls for making it in a food processor, but after reading the bit about grinding stones, I thought it made sense to mash this up in a molcajete.

                        The recipe is simple enough. Parsley, cilantro, green chiles, cumin, cadamom, cloves, a bit of sugar, salt, garlic, olive oil, and water are all combined in a food processor and pulsed to a coarse paste. I used a molcajete instead. I ground the spices in a mortar before adding to the molcajete. Because this is an uncooked recipe, I went ahead and used my best olive oil in it.

                        My intitial hunch was that this would need some lemon juice or vinegar, but once I made it, I changed my mind. It is really delicious as written. Herbal, with a chile kick, this is very "green" tasting. I mean that in a good way. I used this as a dipping sauce for the falafel. I highly recommend it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MelMM
                          omotosando Jul 7, 2013 02:50 PM

                          Thanks for the idea about the molcajete. I love, love zhoug and hate the jarred stuff, but I neither own a food processor, nor have room for one. I think I am going to acquire a molcajete. I do have a mortar and pestle, but I assume the advantage of the molcajete is that it is larger, so you can accomplish more at once.

                        2. geekmom Jan 10, 2013 07:22 AM

                          Sweet filo cigars - p 258 (UK ed.)

                          A mixture of almonds and pistachios is ground to a paste, mixed with vanilla sugar and lemon zest, then rolled up in squares of filo pastry. These "cigars" are then deep-fried in peanut oil and gently dipped in warmed honey. The cigars are topped with crushed pistachios.

                          These are simple, and yet quite fiddly and time-consuming to make; I could imagine a novice cook needing several hours in the kitchen to pull off this dish. We had an issue with one of the cigars bursting in the oil, which left small fragments of the filling floating around in the cooking oil gradually getting darker and darker, so a lot of the cigars cooked after that had little dark bits stuck to them, but we didn't notice that this affected the flavour too much; it just meant our result doesn't look much like the one in the book.

                          In spite of all this fiddly labour, this is one splendid dessert. The flavour of the finished product is complex; you can, if you concentrate, taste the individual components of honey, vanilla, lemon and nuts, but the marriage of these flavours is more than the sum of its parts. I'm especially glad that I went to the trouble of buying a really high-quality greek honey. I would guess that if we had used regular honey the results would have still been delicious but not as heavenly. There is still a fabulous sweet flowery smell filling our house this morning...

                          We decided to serve this with some homemade vanilla ice cream, which worked well to tame the intense sweetness of the cigars. I think any kind of plain thick cream or whipped would work well, too,

                          Two thumbs up for this recipe.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: geekmom
                            bunnylicious Jan 10, 2013 12:38 PM

                            Mmm this sounds fantastic! I wasn't sure about the frying but it sounds like it wasn't to heavy.

                            1. re: bunnylicious
                              geekmom Jan 10, 2013 01:43 PM

                              No, not too heavy but definitely rich!

                            2. re: geekmom
                              blue room Jan 10, 2013 04:00 PM

                              So happy to see these here! I will seek out good honey (we have good honey in Utah the Beehive State haha) -- I really can't imagine this dessert being anything but a treat. Thanks for posting this.

                            3. Caitlin McGrath Jan 9, 2013 10:08 PM

                              Herb pie, p. 251 (US ed.)

                              I had a half pound of filo hanging out in the freezer, so thought why not try this twist on the greens-and-cheese pie. I'm so glad I did, because it is outstanding! With a whole array of greens, aromatics, and fresh herbs, plus three kinds of cheese, it's chock-full of flavor that manages to be both bright and earthy. I'm really looking forward to reheating a piece for lunch tomorrow.

                              The filling starts with a saute of onions, celery, and chard stems. After a while, chard leaves are added and wilted, followed by scallions, arugula, parsley, mint, and dill. This mixture is transferred to a colander to cool, then squeezed of any excess water. Then anari or ricotta (anari is apparently a Cypriot haloumi; I used ricotta), aged cheddar, feta, eggs, lemon zest, and S&P are added. It all gets packed between stacks of filo brushed with olive oil and baked until golden.

                              I served it with the butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar that's been such a hit (with good reason!).

                               
                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                blue room Jan 12, 2013 09:11 AM

                                If anyone is invited anywhere this year and asked to bring food this would probably be perfect. (And the hit of the party!)

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                  geekmom Jan 18, 2013 07:03 PM

                                  I made this this afternoon, but with so many substitutions that I was a bit hesitant to post a review. I had some random cheeses and vegetables in my fridge that needed using up, so my pie had bits of broccoli and leek instead of chard and celery, and kefalotyri and cottage cheese instead of cheddar and ricotta... however, I did have the correct mix and amounts of herbs, the rocket and the green onions so I don't think the finished product is too far off from the original. It's really quite easy, and tastes lovely. It seemed to need something else served on the side, though, and I can't work out what that would be.

                                  1. re: geekmom
                                    Caitlin McGrath Jan 18, 2013 08:20 PM

                                    I served the roasted butternut squash with tahini and za'atar with it, and found it to be a good complement.

                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                    n
                                    NilaJones Jan 28, 2013 10:11 PM

                                    I made this with chard and herbs from my garden, and additional feta instead of the ricotta, and it was amazing! If you use the extra feta, skip the salt ;).

                                    I love filo, but can't eat gluten anymore, so I made the pie in a storebought gluten-free natural pie crust (rice four, mainly). Served it with roasted garden potatoes, with rosemary.

                                    Another gluten-free option would be to grate raw potatoes and press them into the bottom of the pie pan. Makes a nice hashbrown-like crust when baked. Maybe some salt and pepper.

                                    This was the first dish I'd made from this book, and I was blown away by its delicousness :).

                                  3. blue room Jan 9, 2013 02:12 PM

                                    Red pepper and baked egg (cheese) gallettes p. 243 (US)

                                    I made these with the suggested feta instead of eggs, and they're quite good, (savory puff pastry good!)
                                    They are pastry squares with a little egg wash to make them golden, and a little (just 1 1/2 teaspoons) sour cream smear for tang. (The tang is probably not necessary with feta, but a plus with the egg.) The topping is roasted onions and red (bell) peppers with cumin, coriander, thyme, olive oil, and salt. Can be sprinkled with parsley and cilantro, but I'm parslied and cilantroed out just now.
                                    Bake for 14 minutes, then top (with an egg or cheese) and bake 7 minutes more.
                                    I wish the feta had melted a little more, just for looks.
                                    A great lunch for me, and I'd definitely make them again.

                                     
                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: blue room
                                      Allegra_K Jan 9, 2013 02:34 PM

                                      That sounds lovely, br...I'm hoping to get to this one very soon.
                                      I hear you on the parsley/cilantro...though for me its dill and tahini!

                                      1. re: blue room
                                        Allegra_K Jan 14, 2013 07:23 AM

                                        Red Pepper and Baked Egg Gallettes

                                        Chose to make this for a light dinner today after a rather late and filling lunch. I use the word 'light' loosely, if only to make myself feel better about the fact that I was eating a meal based on butter-filled puff pastry.
                                        I decreased the amount of peppers and onions to 2 each, added a plump shallot, but I still had piles of vegetable slices left over--almost half. No matter, as I will re-invent the leftovers for another version of shakshuka. I found that my pastry wasn't done yet when the time was up, but neither were the eggs, so a few extra minutes closer to the burner solved that problem. My eggs must have been huge, as there was no way they were about to fit in that hollow on the pastry square, so I scooped off some of the white in order to make it work.
                                        A nice tasty meal, all in all. If I make it again, I may try making some zhoug or harissa to go alongside, since I thought the dish could benefit from some extra spice and tartness.

                                         
                                        1. re: Allegra_K
                                          Breadcrumbs Mar 29, 2013 01:03 PM

                                          Allegra I somehow missed this when you initially posted it. Stunning and now I'm totally craving this!

                                        2. re: blue room
                                          geekmom Jan 28, 2013 01:08 PM

                                          Red pepper & baked egg galettes - p 243

                                          I made these for lunch today and they were definitely a hit. I ate two!

                                          I found that I had an awful lot of the pepper & onion mixture left over (even though I made 5 servings, instead of 4 as instructed), so I will probably halve the amounts next time. Also, the eggs didn't get the memo about confining themselves neatly to the well in the centre of the pastry, so the egg whites ran all over the tray. Next time I will make more of an effort to arrange the pepper slices into "walls" to confine the egg.

                                          In spite of the messy eggs, the galettes were extremely tasty - the veg mixture has a lovely sweetness that is not at odds with the savoury herbs and spices, and I liked having the pastry to mop up the egg yolk that broke all over the plate. The flavours are very similar to shakshuka and I will likely use my leftover peppers & onions to make that for tomorrow's lunch.

                                          1. re: blue room
                                            geekmom Mar 29, 2013 12:27 PM

                                            I just wanted to comment that this is one of the winningest ways to prepare peppers that I have come across. Since first making this dish, every time I have seen peppers on sale I snap them up, bring them home and make this yumminess. It's good in omelettes, with your breakfast, in various Mexican-style dishes, or just on its own in a big bowl. Yum.

                                          2. blue room Jan 8, 2013 09:28 AM

                                            Pickled mixed vegetables with curry P. 307

                                            I like that the authors don't Capitalize Most of the Words in Recipe Titles. Anybody else notice this?
                                            I'm not sure I'm doing this right -- I have a bowl of curried brine and chopped vegetables. It's supposed to be in a sterilized jar, in a well-lit place, or in the sun. The recipe says "seal" the jar, but no mention of processing of any kind.
                                            And the finished (after 5 days in the brine) vegetables will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. So I have a bowl of delicious brown water in a sunny (at times) window. I covered it with plastic wrap, hoping the salt and vinegar will keep it safe.

                                             
                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: blue room
                                              blue room Jan 12, 2013 09:05 AM

                                              Well, five days after being put in the curry brine the vegetables are all still crisp (including the cabbage and cucumber). I took some out each day to "test taste" but it's like popcorn and now very little is left.
                                              This is absolutely delicious, easy, and I think would be a crowd pleaser. I think a big jar of it in the fridge all summer would be great.

                                            2. bunnylicious Jan 7, 2013 01:21 PM

                                              Mutabbaq, p 262

                                              This is a phyllo-based dessert made with cheese and topped with syrup. You layer and butter some sheets of phyllo, fill with a blend of ricotta and goat cheese, then layer and butter some more phyllo. While it's baking, you prepare a syrup with water, lemon and sugar. You then soak the pastry in the syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven.

                                              I frequently use phyllo to make spanakopita, so overall I thought this recipe was a cinch to make. Even for someone inexperienced, the method described in the recipe is pretty straightforward. I really liked the tang of the filling. I wasn't sure how that combination of cheese would turn out, but it was really lovely. I only poured the syrup on the pastry about 10 min after it came out of the oven, due to my little one requiring a hug :) but this still turned out great. It's a bit more on the syrupy side than I like; I don't know if my timing had any impact on that. It's not as syrupy as, say, greek baklava, but definitely more syrupy than I'm used to seeing middle eastern baklava be. Speaking of baklava, the suggested variation uses nuts and cinnamon. Next time I make it, I will use a bit less syrup, and I will try making it without the lemon, and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon instead!

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: bunnylicious
                                                bunnylicious Jan 7, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                Ok so I just snuck a piece of mutabbaq from the fridge... Yum!!! The recipe says to serve warm but I like it even better cold! The syrup seems to be just right in quantity and the lemon adds a nice ending. The cheese is not as silky cold but that's ok. If you don't mind it cold, syrup will work fine as is, contrary to my previous post.

                                                1. re: bunnylicious
                                                  geekmom Jan 8, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                  Oh man, now I really HAVE to make this.

                                                  1. re: bunnylicious
                                                    blue room Jan 8, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                    Yes, this really has my attention too --
                                                    and a few pages away, (258 US) are "Filo cigars" with pistachio nuts and honey. But first the muttabbaq.

                                                  2. re: bunnylicious
                                                    p
                                                    pavlova Jan 8, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                    I almost made this for our dinner, but went with the clementine almond cake instead. It's definitely next on my list!

                                                    1. re: bunnylicious
                                                      p
                                                      pavlova Feb 3, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                      Made a half recipe of this tonight and it was a hit! Loved it warm, will try the leftovers cold tomorrow.

                                                      1. re: bunnylicious
                                                        p
                                                        pavlova Feb 11, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                        Made this again tonight. Was ready and in the oven in 10 minutes and will definitely be a regular around here.

                                                        1. re: bunnylicious
                                                          Savour Aug 19, 2013 01:53 PM

                                                          I made this for a potluck breakfast - served it room temp instead of warm (or cold). I added just a touch of sweetener to the filling (used honey goat cheese) which was a nice addition, I thought.
                                                          The syrup definitely benefited, IMO, from the suggested addition of orange flower water. Just a little.

                                                          1. re: Savour
                                                            s
                                                            Siegal Aug 20, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                            I want to make this so bad but I know no one else will eat it!

                                                            1. re: Siegal
                                                              Savour Aug 20, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                              You'd be surprised. I took it to a back to school PTA breakfast and it disappeared pretty quickly!

                                                        2. Allegra_K Jan 5, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                          Semolina, Coconut, & Marmalade Cake p.264

                                                          Sneaking downstairs early on a Saturday morning to have some precious alone-time, I thought it would be nice to make a sweet nibble to go along with the compulsory leisurely weekend coffee ritual and so found myself staring longingly at this recipe. I set out to make it immediately.

                                                          This is a very intensely flavoured and heavy cake exploding with orange essence-fresh squeezed juice, zest, and marmalade-and exotic orange blossom water, making it unquestionably Middle Eastern in origin. Also appearing in supporting roles are ground almonds and coconut shreds (it didn't specify but I used unsweetened; very glad with that decision) along with a combination of semolina and ap flour. This makes enough for two loaves, though I suspect the photo shows a double recipe in one pan; mine was about half that height. I divvied up the rest of the batter into lined muffin tins for the impatient--tho the cakes refused to release from the liners, making for one crumbly mess. Once the cakes come out of the oven, they are brushed with an orange blossom-laced syrup (about 300 ml total) over and over again until all the liquid is soaked up into the spongy interior. I was dubious that the cakes would be able to manage so much syrup but eventually it was all slurped up.

                                                          There is an option to top the cake with yogurt upon serving, and I really recommend it as it provided the perfect counterpoint for the cloyingly sweet dessert. It was rather rich and only a small amount could be eaten at once; perhaps not a great choice for breakfast but a beautiful pairing with some very strong coffee. If you love orange flower water and sweet things this is a really great choice for a post-mealtime finish.

                                                           
                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Allegra_K
                                                            geekmom Jan 7, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                            Not sure if any of yours survived, Allegra_K, but I have found this cake survives freezing exceptionally well. I wrapped individual slices in plastic wrap & froze them in a ziplock freezer bag, so I could get out a slice at a time every now and then & microwave it to go with my afternoon tea. It's quite sweet and intensely flavoured so a little goes a long way. :-)

                                                            1. re: geekmom
                                                              Allegra_K Jan 8, 2013 05:12 AM

                                                              That's great to hear, geekmom. I do have quite a bit left over as it is so rich that one can only have a small amount before being sated. It really is very tasty; I've found the flavour has even improved after a few days.

                                                            2. re: Allegra_K
                                                              l
                                                              limoen Jan 19, 2013 04:02 AM

                                                              It probably didn't specify sweetened vs unsweetened coconut because you don't really find sweetened shredded coconut in the UK

                                                              1. re: Allegra_K
                                                                d
                                                                DebHo Jan 28, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                First, Allegra_K you have a great picture! I also was going to make cupcakes when I read to split between two pans but luckily my sister lives across the street and had a second pan for my to use.

                                                                I am a huge citrus and coconut fan so when I was making the Sunday family dinner and was asked what dessert was this flew off the pages at me. And I agree about the picture looking like they doubled up in one pan as mine was not quite as tall and I have fresh baking soda.

                                                                The end product was amazing. Dense and really moist at the same time. Not too sweet but still had that yummy dessert sweetness. This has been requested to be made again with family dinner. Loved it and so did my guests.

                                                              2. blue room Jan 5, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                Ma'amul p. 288

                                                                Well, these aren't my favorite, but could be easily tweaked to anyone's taste. They're filled cookies, about 2 1/4 inches across and plump. The dough is made from both semolina and flour, butter, sugar, flavored flower water -- rose and orange. This dough is easy to work with and kept the filling safe inside while baking, but is crumbly and delicate after baking so let cookies cool before trying to move them!
                                                                The filling is ground dates and walnuts, more flavored flower water, sugar and cinnamon.
                                                                Not too sweet, and I thought the powdered sugar on top (after baking) was a good addition. My one problem (and probably only mine) is I like dates so much, and here the date flavor was masked. It sounds like many variations exist, including pistachios (ooh) and there also exists a traditional wooden press/mold to make the tops pretty.http://www.israelikitchen.com/sweet-t...

                                                                 
                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: blue room
                                                                  blue room Jan 8, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                  Meant to include a picture of the inside too --
                                                                  flavor improves the next day(s)

                                                                   
                                                                2. blue room Jan 3, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                                  I want to make "Brick" on page 244,
                                                                  but in the notes it says the pastry needed is paper thin and similar to filo. Then says spring-roll wrappers would make a good substitute -- ? I'd prefer to use filo -- anyone have an opinion?

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                    JungMann Jan 3, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                    The substitution depends on the cooking method. If the brik is meant to be fried, use the spring roll wrappers. If you are baking, go with the phyllo.

                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                      blue room Jan 3, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                      Ah, makes sense --thank you!

                                                                  2. bunnylicious Jan 2, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                    Clementine and almond syrup cake, page 294

                                                                    Made this as part of our nye dinner. A pretty simple cake recipe, in which most of the flour is almond flour, instead of all-purpose. After the cake bakes, it is topped with a clementine syrup which soaks into it. I followed this recipe exactly, except that I used regular white sugar instead of superfine. It was heavenly. I loved the texture. The clementine flavour struck just the right balance, bright but not overpowering. I didn't make the chocolate icing, I don't think it's necessary. I am curious to try this without the syrup as well, I think it could make a lovely coffee cake. A keeper.

                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                    1. re: bunnylicious
                                                                      aching Jan 2, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                      My MIL has been raving about this recipe - I can't wait for an excuse to make it!

                                                                      1. re: bunnylicious
                                                                        q
                                                                        qianning Jan 2, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                        Great review. I'll be curious to see if anyone who made last month's clementine and almond cake from "how to Eat" also makes this one....

                                                                        1. re: qianning
                                                                          The Dairy Queen Jan 4, 2013 11:01 PM

                                                                          I, too, wonder how this compares to Nigella's Clementine cake. They both sound delicious.

                                                                          (And isn't Nigella's adapted from Roden's lemon cake I think?)

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                        2. re: bunnylicious
                                                                          pagesinthesun Jan 2, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                                          I'm wanting to purchase the ground almonds to try this recipe. Did you grind your own almonds? Do you know if almond flour is the same? What did you use?

                                                                          Also, did you run the sugar through a food processor or did you just use straight up regular granulated sugar?

                                                                          This type of cake is right up my alley. And, I agree it doesn't sound like it needs the chocolate. I'll skip it too.

                                                                          1. re: pagesinthesun
                                                                            bunnylicious Jan 3, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                            ok, take 3 on this post:) somehow it keeps disappearing before I hit reply, I blame it on a curious baby who loves to play with my laptop.

                                                                            I think almond flour and ground almonds are the same thing. I use the two terms interchangeably. If anything, maybe the texture is slightly different?

                                                                            I used a bag that I snagged for a great price at winners (tj maxx). The French name translates to blanched ground almonds, but the label shows "almond powder" in English. The texture is quite fine.I had originally planned on using it for macarons, but this recipe led to a change in plans.

                                                                            I have ground my own almonds in the past, and I think if you sieve them to take out any big chunks, homemade ground almonds would probably be fine for this recipe. I didn't blitz the sugar as I didn't feel like washing another bowl :)

                                                                            1. re: pagesinthesun
                                                                              j
                                                                              janeh Jan 3, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                              I use ground almonds - best price I've found is at Trader Joe's, in the baking section.

                                                                              1. re: janeh
                                                                                pagesinthesun Jan 3, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                                                I've read other posts about the TJ's ground almonds. I think I'll stop by there before I plan to try out this recipe

                                                                                Thanks all!

                                                                                1. re: pagesinthesun
                                                                                  e
                                                                                  equinoise Jan 27, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                                  I used Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour for this recipe tonight and it came out killer.

                                                                                  http://www.bobsredmill.com/almond-mea...

                                                                            2. re: bunnylicious
                                                                              p
                                                                              pavlova Jan 6, 2013 06:48 PM

                                                                              I made this today and it was pretty good! I have a feeling it will be better tomorrow, as the syrup seems to have only soaked into the top half of the cake. I should have poked holes in it before pouring the syrup, I think.
                                                                              Right now I like the boiled clementine cake better but I'll re-evaluate tomorrow (probably at breakfast time).

                                                                              1. re: pavlova
                                                                                bunnylicious Jan 6, 2013 07:46 PM

                                                                                I made this the day before we ate it, and the syrup had soaked all the way through. I bet you will enjoy it a lot tomorrow.

                                                                                I think I will have to give this other clementine cake recipe a shot... purely for research purposes of course! ;)

                                                                              2. re: bunnylicious
                                                                                geekmom Feb 4, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                Clementine and almond syrup cake - p 294

                                                                                A "me too" on this one which I made on Friday for a Saturday night dinner party. A truly wonderful and quite easy cake that I will definitely make again. All my guests happily gobbled it up.

                                                                                Like others I let this sit overnight and I did find that the syrup permeated the cake nicely while it sat overnight. It was wonderfully moist and not overpoweringly sweet.

                                                                                Unlike others here, I did make the chocolate icing. I know the cake is fine without it but damn, was it ever fantastic with icing. If you like the chocolate/orange combo you really must try this! I omitted the cognac and it was mighty fine with just really good chocolate (I used Valrhona), organic butter and a little of the excellent Greek honey I had left over from the filo cigar recipe.

                                                                                I found that the recipe made way too much icing, though - it says in the book to drizzle it over and not to cover the cake completely. Well, if I'd used all the icing I would not only have covered the cake completely it would have been swimming in chocolate. I didn't find that the leftover icing stuck around for long, though. My family took care of the problem.

                                                                                I didn't make Nigella's clementine cake but I did make her almond and orange blossom cake. My comment would be that this cake actually rose while it was baking whereas Nigella's didn't. Also, her cake oozed butter in the oven and this one stayed totally dry.

                                                                                1. re: geekmom
                                                                                  pagesinthesun Feb 11, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                  Do you think this cake can be made in a heart shaped bundt mold for Valentine's Day? Either way, I will be making this cake for the first time. I just thought I'd put to use the once a year heart shaped bundt if I could.

                                                                                  1. re: pagesinthesun
                                                                                    geekmom Feb 11, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                    I'm probably the worst person to ask about his since I have never used a bundt pan or made a bundt cake, but I honestly don't see why you couldn't try it. The only thing I can see that might be a little weird or potentially problematic is that this is a very dense, moist and crumbly kind of cake and the kind of cake the pan might be designed for is the light, fluffy kind. It couldn't hurt to try, though!

                                                                                    1. re: geekmom
                                                                                      pagesinthesun Feb 11, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                                      Thanks for the info. If I have the guts to possibly ruin Valentines dessert I'll let you know how it turns out.

                                                                                      I'm not a good baker, so easy peasy pound cakes in the bundt pan are my go to. ;)

                                                                                2. re: bunnylicious
                                                                                  aching Sep 23, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                  I finally made this cake yesterday, and I thought it was fantastic. I also used regular granulated sugar and ground my own almonds; it probably would have a finer texture with caster sugar and a smaller grind on the almonds, but I'm not sure that would be preferable (at least to me). I liked the crunch of the almond bits and the dense crumb. I chickened out and only poured on half the syrup because I didn't want it to turn into a sticky mess, but next time I think I would use all of the syrup - it was great. I served it with vanilla ice cream, which was lovely, but next time I'm going to try the chocolate icing - that sounds really tasty to me, and I think it would look pretty killer too.

                                                                                  1. re: aching
                                                                                    geekmom Sep 23, 2013 05:51 PM

                                                                                    YEEESSSSS the chocolate icing is absolutely killer. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford, and you will be rewarded. :-D

                                                                                3. bunnylicious Jan 2, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                  My first COTM! So exciting! I'm loving this book.

                                                                                  Zhoug, page 301.
                                                                                  This is a lovely condiment that I've already managed to enjoy in several different dishes. It's basically a sauce/paste made with cilantro, parsley, chile, garlic and spices, all chopped together. Kind of like a middle eastern chimichurri. My only modification was to use a but less cardamom and cloves than called for. This tasted great the day after I made it, as the flavours had nicely melded together. So far, I've enjoyed it with lentil soup, eggs braised with lamb (p.205), and smeared over some nice crusty bread with feta and tomatoes. Will definitely be making this one again!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: bunnylicious
                                                                                    L.Nightshade Feb 11, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                    Zhoug, page 301.
                                                                                    I made this yesterday to go on the braised eggs with lamb. It is really lovely, and I'm sure it will have a hundred uses. I like all the ideas bunnylicious mentioned for using it. The comparison to chimichurri is quite apt, and I think it would be wonderful with grilled beef.

                                                                                  2. Allegra_K Jan 1, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                                                    Yogurt with Cucumber, pg. 299

                                                                                    This is a simple side that goes well with many of the recipes in this book. Cucumber, peeled and sliced, gets stirred into a seasoned blend of yogurt, crushed garlic, fresh and dried mint, and lemon juice, which rests in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Served chilled.

                                                                                    We had this minty 'salad' with pita, falafels, latkes, kuku, and just alone as a nice refresher. Not much else to say about this other than it was tasty, and it will probably make an appearance as an accompaniment for many of this month's adventures.

                                                                                    Yogurt dish pictured in the left-ish part of the middle of the spread.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K
                                                                                      f
                                                                                      Frizzle Jan 2, 2013 10:52 PM

                                                                                      I'm so impressed with your spread - I've followed your posts in the other threads. I am in awe if how you managed to do so many brand new recipes at one time.

                                                                                      Do you think the yoghurt and cucumber side would keep in the fridge for a couple of days seeing as it goes with so many dishes I'm wondering if I can use it a couple of days in a row.

                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                        Allegra_K Jan 4, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                        Thank you, Frizzle! It was a pretty intense evening of cooking (and eating, of course!)...

                                                                                        The yogurt/cuke mix held up well enough for the next day, although the veggies were softening a bit from their lengthy bath in the dairy. It was also mintier the next day. Still very good. I don't know how much longer I would leave it after that, but it really is very quick to make anyway.

                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                          JungMann Jan 4, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                          The cucumber and yogurt salad as written in Jerusalem will last a few days in the fridge. It holds up better if you use strained yogurt as the cucumber will exude water, which tends to thin the dressing.

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